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Simon of Cyrene

Some cannot loosen their own chains

and can nonetheless redeem their friends.


If there be any good to suffering, it is not so much that you discover how weak or strong you are than in knowing how weak or strong others are.


. In the waiting area of the doctor's clinic, the booming voices of at least three people can be heard
coming from the consultation room. They talk past each other about money, misunderstandings, money, blame, and more money. The doctor sparingly speaks, much less the patient. What was supposed to be consultation turns out to be a family feud over the dinner table. The patient goes out, smiling--as if everything were fine. I thought about asking the receptionist what her illness was, thinking that we might share the same fate. I decided otherwise. I did not want to know anymore for I knew what the problem was already: her family. When it was my turn to see the doctor, I was ashamed of my petty problems.


If to suffer is to carry one's burden and to embrace it, and to sustain itself in that suspension of weight, then one's burden can never be too light or heavy. Weightless suffering.

The weight disappears as the man who suffers becomes the burden and the burden the man who suffers. No tricks, no negation or synthesis--just pure affirmation. An affirmation of a weakness that pierces the heart, and an affirmation of the strength that absorbs that wound. You are suddenly alive again.

Watch: I have so much blood to give.


When Christ was asked what one should do to follow him, Christ did not say that one should help him carry his cross. "Deny yourself," he said, "take up your cross and follow me."

Simon of Cyrene, a passerby who chanced upon the path of the Christ, was chosen to carry the cross for the beaten and bloodied man. He did not walk ahead of Christ, but behind him. Simon was also carried.

To deny yourself: this means that only one thing is necessary--and that is to suffer on your own. This is easy.

What is more difficult is to follow him--him who carried the suffering of others on his shoulders.


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